I love Kripal Singh’s Food Lovers TV where he spotlights older, unique, out of the way establishments mostly in Bengaluru. One of these episodes featured The New Modern Hotel (not sure of the name) in Bengaluru, and their homestyle cooking and thaali. Now, if I must choose someone to eat on my behalf, if that ever happens, I would choose Kripal. The way he experiences the food and relates the experience, the way he enjoys it – he is the BEST! The food featured was South Canara cuisine, I think it’s coastal karnataka, satvik food, plenty of coconut, and jaggery, and just everything good! I fell in love with this episode, and the side dish of okra gojju that he used the pooris to dip in. Googled the recipe, and I came up with what I think is the dish featured. From my research, it’s very similar to the pagarkai gojju made with a unique masala paste made of sesame seeds and coconut, in addition to the dals and red chilies. I had to make it immediately. Like the same evening. But I waited to serve it with with the pooris, along with a hodge podge thaali I made up with various leftovers, as I was craving a Woodlands style thaali. Here is the recipe!
This is a semi dry chutney with just 4 ingredients: cilantro, red chilies, tamarind, urad dal. And salt, and hing. Pairs perfectly with idli, dosai, rice, anything you’d have a chutney to go with. It’s really neither a chutney nor a powder (podi) – it’s not a runny, watery paste like a chutney, nor is it completely dry like a podi. There is a little moisture from the cilantro, but it’s on the dry side. Simple to make, lasts in the refrigerator for about a month easily.
Panzanella – a salad made with stale cubed bread, some basic dressing, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, and fresh mozzarella. And salt and pepper. There. That’s the recipe, and it comes together beautifully in about 15 minutes.
This is a thick jam-like gravy with a tamarind base, spiced with a mix of roasted powdered pepper and lentils. Perfect over a bed of hot steaming rice, with an accompaniment of vegetables (kootu) or curry.
This is one of the simplest curries, with minimum ingredients and comes together in literally 10 minutes, after prep. Pairs excellent with rotis. I love to just eat it like a soup. The mild tasting, water-laden lauki/doodhi/sorakai is satisfying in its rustic simplicity. Requires no onion, garlic or complicated masalas.
It is known as bottle gourd in English. Cooks very quickly.